Platinum Stars 0-3 England - Match Report
Published : 07 Jun 2010 16:36:48
England continued their World Cup preparations with a 3-0 win over local South African side Platinum Stars in their final warm-up game.
Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe gave Fabio Capello's side the lead after just two minutes, slotting the ball home from six yards following a low cross from Steven Gerrard.
The hosts were gifted a gilt-edged chance to draw level just a couple of minutes later when Glen Johnson was judged to have tripped their striker in the penalty area.
Bradley Grobler stepped up to take the resulting penalty but saw his kick fly harmlessly over Joe Hart's crossbar.
Capello made wholesale changes at half-time, bringing on Rob Green, Jamie Carragher, Michael Dawson, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock, Aaron Lennon, Michael Carrick, James Milner, Emile Heskey and Wayne Rooney - leaving Joe Cole as the only player on the pitch to have started the first-half.
Heskey, Milner and Rooney all wasted good opportunities during the start of the second period as England began to move the ball with greater intent.
But while they continued to improve in the final third of the pitch, slack defending almost cost England a goal as they allowed a Stars striker a clear shot which flew narrowly wide of Rob Green's right-hand post.
Rooney then exhibited the best and worst of his own game, earning himself a yellow card for a mistimed challenge before skilfully weaving his way through the opposition defence, only to have his low shot saved.
But the goalkeeper could do nothing to stop England's second goal, an incisive breakaway from the talismanic Rooney allowing Joe Cole to finish neatly into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
And the provider turned scorer with just ten minutes remaining as a Milner cross from the left found Rooney, who finished powerfully from just inside the penalty area.